Does Big Ag “feed the world”, or are such slogans just clever public relations?

Big Ag claims that its technologies and methods are necessary to “feed the world.” But is that really what Big Ag does, or is “feeding the world” merely a marketing slogan with little basis in reality? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) investigated the issue and released a report last month. It found that:
* Less than 1% of US agricultural exports went to the world’s 19 most hungry or undernourished countries.
* 63% of this went to Haiti and Yemen alone.
* 2.3% of the world’s most undernourished countries’ diet comes from exports from the United States.
* More than 50% of the agricultural exports to its top 20 importers were for animal product or meat
* In many countries where malnourishment is a problem, obesity and overweight is a bigger problem. US agricultural exports contribute to this.
* Developmental aid would produce a much bigger positive impact for global malnourishment than would expanding US agricultural markets.
* In sum, given the relative ineffectiveness of Big Ag in resolving the problem of hunger, there is little reason to believe that a no-holds-barred race to sleeker and more sophisticated agricultural technology is going to make an impact on global hunger.
* The United States should assist other countries in learning to feed themselves, not insisting on American agricultural investment as a means of addressing a problem that it won’t address.
Here’s a summary by Civil Eats:
Here’s the full report:

Want to discuss, argue, or just talk about food? Check out our Facebook group at:

Get the word out.Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Pin on Pinterest0Email this to someonePrint this page